Singer, songwriter, producer, and frontman of the alternative American rock band Better Than Ezra, Kevin Griffin will serve as the department’s Artist-in-Residence and guest instructor for the 2016/2017 academic year.
The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts today announced that Kevin Griffin – singer, songwriter, producer, and frontman of the alternative American rock band Better Than Ezra – will serve as the department’s Artist-in-Residence and guest instructor for the 2016/2017 academic year. As a visiting faculty member, Griffin will lead multiple lectures and workshops focused on songwriting, production, and the touring business. He will also provide students with one-on-one songwriting critiques.
“Kevin quite simply has it all - the songwriting chops, the performance skills, and the entrepreneurial acumen to turn ideas into successful realities. He can speak about almost every aspect of the music business with absolute authority,” said Jeffrey Rabhan, Chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. “His many talents combined with his generosity and genuine love of teaching and mentoring make him a perfect role model for Clive Davis students.”
In the course of his over 25-year career, Griffin has produced, written, and co-written albums and songs that have sold in excess of 30 million copies. He rose to prominence as the lead vocalist and guitarist for the New Orleans-based band Better Than Ezra, whose debut record, “Deluxe,” went double platinum, fueled in part by the success of the No. 1 Modern Rock track Good. The band went on to record seven more commercially successful albums, including 2014’s “All Together Now” which secured a Top 30 song with lead single Crazy Lucky. In 2015, the band also recorded the holiday album “Welcome to Our Christmas Party,” to benefit the Grammy’s MusiCares Foundation.
In 2010, their song, Breathless, was covered by Taylor Swift at the Hope for Haiti telethon and during her worldwide tour. Other artists who have performed Griffin’s work in addition to Swift include Train, Sugarland, Barenaked Ladies, Christina Perri and James Blunt. He has co-written numerous songs, including the 2005 Top 10 hit Collide with singer/songwriter Howie Day and Sugarland's No. 1 Country hit Stuck Like Glue, which became the 11th most downloaded country music song of all time.
In 2015, Griffin founded the Pilgrimage Music Festival in Franklin, Tennessee, which in its inaugural year hosted Willie Nelson, Weezer, Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Cliff, and many others and was dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the best curated festival of the year.”
More information about Kevin Griffin can be found on his website, and through his Twitter feed @kevinmgriffin.
About the NYU Tisch Clive Davis Institute
The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music provides professional business and artistic training toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree for students who aspire to succeed as creative entrepreneurs in the music industry. The program bears the name of its chief patron and advisor, Clive Davis.